Amid India’s concerns over dams being built on the Brahmaputra in Tibet, China today said the projects are scientifically planned to ensure that there is no impact on water flows to downstream areas but asserted its “just and legitimate” right over the water resources.
“There has been good cooperation between China and India on the issue of trans border rivers for a long time. The Chinese side has overcome many difficulties and provided service such as provision of hydrological data to the Indian side thus playing a positive role,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told PTI here.
Responding to Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat’s statement in Parliament yesterday in which he said India has expressed its concerns to China about the likely impact of the dams, Hong said, “the Chinese side has a just and legitimate user right towards the water resources of trans border rivers.”
“At the same time, the Chinese side also takes a responsible attitude and carries out a policy of protecting while exploiting the resources. All utilisation of trans border rivers are carried out through scientific planning and takes into account the interests of the upstream and downstream,” he said.
On the Chinese dams restricting the water flows, Hong said, “As per my understanding, the hydropower projects constructed by China at present will not have an impact on flood control and disaster reduction and on the environment of the downstream.”
“The Chinese side is willing to continue to maintain communication and cooperation with the Indian side on the issue of trans border rivers through existing cooperation mechanisms and enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two sides,” he said.
Jat, yesterday had said, “India has urged China to ensure the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas.”
The minister said, according to reports, China’s Zangmu hydroelectric project was operationalised in October, 2015.
The outline of the 12th Five Year Plan for the People’s Republic of China indicates that three more hydropower projects on the mainstream of Brahmaputra river in Tibet Autonomous Region have been approved for implementation, he said.
For its part, China has maintained that its projects aimed at hydropower are run of the river projects without storing much waters.